A solicitor from the Vale of Glamorgan managed to stop his client, who has a British family, from being deported to Jamaica on a charter flight that took off early this morning.
Christopher Simmonds, who works at Virgo Consultancy Services in Barry, asked the Home Office to stop his client’s deportation so he could remain in the UK with his family.
He is married to a British woman, with whom he has two children who were born in the UK.
Simmonds said: “We’re very happy for our client that has been taken off the flight and we will be looking to get him released from detention as soon as possible.”
Simmonds said he can’t give out specific details about his client, but he and the other detainees scheduled to be deported on this morning’s flight had all committed some sort of criminal offence.
The Home Office views them as foreign criminals, which is why they are being deported to Jamaica. But Mr Simmonds said most came to the UK as children or young men.
He questioned the fact that the government regards them as “foreign” considering they have spent most of their lives in the UK.
He said: “A lot of these people have been in the UK for many, many years. They have British family, British children, British partners, and know nothing of the country the Home Office intends to send them back to.”
There was an issue with an O2 mast before the scheduled deportations, meaning many detainees could not call anyone for legal advice.
This led to a Court of Appeal judge yesterday ordering the Home Office not to remove people to Jamaica since they had not had access to a working sim card on or before the 3rd of February. For this reason, only 17 men were deported on the flight this morning.
Mr Simmonds described the charter flights as “barbaric” and said: “They’re guarded by three men each and are taken in the early hours of the morning.
“It’s concerning that the Secretary of State is so keen to remove people in this way from the United Kingdom.”
“We will fight endlessly to ensure as few people are removed from the United Kingdom as possible,” he added.
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